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likewise, the value of the bills fluctuated according to the more or less abundant crops of tobacco, which was the chief commodity of trade in that province. At length the British merchants, finding it difficult to collect their American debts, ascribed the cause to the depreciation of the local currency, and used their influence with the ministers to procure an act of Parliament restraining emissions, with a legal tender, in all the colonies. They carried their point, and such an act was passed.

The restraint was considered onerous and inequitable in Pennsylvania, where the paper money had always been so managed as to keep its value nearly at par, and the Assembly petitioned Parliament for a repeal of the act. Dr. Franklin presented the petition, and, having brought over the merchants to join with him in the application, he urged it so effectively, that the ministers agreed to favor the measure.

He found it necessary, however, first to dispossess them of a notion, which they had taken up, and which he looked upon as threatening more mischief to the colonies, than the prohibition of the legal tender. They were meditating a project for drawing a revenue from the colonial paper money, by retaining the interest derived from it to be appropriated by Parliament. He assured them, that no colony would emit money on such terms, and advanced other reasons against the plan, which seemed to convince them, that it was impolitic if not impracticable. But when Parliament assembled, the subject was introduced in a new and still more objectionable form. The chancellor of the exchequer, Mr. Townshend, after he had proposed an American revenue by duties on glass, paper, tea, and some other articles, said he had another proposition to offer, and that a bill would be

prepared for the purpose. By his scheme all the paper money for the colonies was to be made by the British government in London, sent over to America, deposited in loan-offices there, and then issued on interest precisely according to the Pennsylvania method. The whole amount of the interest was to be paid into the British treasury.

In its principles this scheme was exactly the same as the Stamp Act. It aimed to impose a direct tax on the colonies by a law of Parliament, and also to take away from the Assemblies all power over their currency. Foreseeing the consequences, and wishing to remove every ground for such a proceeding on the score of complaints from the colonies, Dr. Franklin thought it prudent not to press the petition any further at that time.

Shortly afterwards he wrote; "I am not for applying here again very soon for a repeal of the restraining act, I am afraid an ill use will be made of it. The plan of our adversaries is, to render Assemblies in America useless, and to have a revenue, independent of their grants, for all the purposes of their defence and supporting governments among them. It is our interest to prevent this. And, that they may not lay hold of our necessities for paper money, to draw a revenue from that article whenever they grant us the liberty we want, of making it a legal tender, I wish some other method may be fallen upon of supporting its credit." He therefore recommended the experiment of paper money not a legal tender, which had been already begun by the Pennsylvanians upon a small scale; and he also intimated, that a bank might be established, which would answer the desired purpose. This latter plan, however, was never resorted to, either by Pennsylvania or any other province. z*



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the resistance to acts of Parliament, in which the Pennsylvanians joined as heartily as any of their neighbours, prevented its being brought to an issue till the war broke out. If quiet had been restored, by establishing the relations between the two countries on the old footing, as they stood before the Stamp Act, which was demanded by the colonists, the change would doubtless have been effected.

Recent events led to the investigation of a subject, which had hitherto been little considered, because no occasion had arisen for calling it into notice. An inquiry began to be made, on both sides of the Atlantic, into the principles by which the people of the two countries were bound together, and the reciprocal duties involved in this union. Franklin devoted his thoughts with great earnestness to this inquiry, and, after a full examination, expressed his sentiments decidedly and without reserve. The first settlers came to America by permission of the King; certain rights and privileges were granted to them by royal charters; they were allowed to have Assemblies of their own, and to pass laws not repugnant to the laws of England; these laws might be confirmed or annulled by the King; suits arising in the colonies, whenever transferred to the mother country, were decided by the King in Council. Parliament had never been consulted in making the charters, nor had any authority been reserved to that body over them, in regard to the terms upon which they were conferred; and, indeed, Parliament had taken no notice of the colonies, till a long time after their settlement. Besides, the emigrants did not remove to a conquered country; they purchased the soil of the natives with their own means; nor did they ever put the British government to the expense of a farthing, either for their removal or their establishment in an unexplored wilderness.

Mr. Townshend's project was dropped. If the new duties had been submitted to, the tax on paper money would probably have followed.

In the summer of 1766, Dr. Franklin went over to Germany, accompanied by Sir John Pringle, who spent some time at Pyrmont for the benefit of the waters. Franklin made a more extended journey; but little is known of it, except that he visited Göttingen, Hanover, and some of the principal cities and universities on the continent, and returned to London after an absence of eight weeks. During this tour he learned from the boatmen in Holland, that boats propelled by an equal force move more slowly in shoal than in deep water. He afterwards performed a variety of experiments to prove and illustrate this fact, which he considered important in the construction of canals. The results of these experiments, with an explanation of them on philosophical principles, he communicated in a letter to Sir John Pringle.

The main business of his mission to England, which was to prosecute the petition for a change of the government in Pennsylvania, received his early and continued attention. The ministers listened to the application so far, as to raise encouraging hopes of its ultimate success. As the change, desired by the Pennsylvanians, was such as to enlarge the authority of the crown in that province, there was no reluctance on the part of the administration to agree to an arrangement, whenever it could be done consistently with the proprietary claims. It was proposed, that the government should purchase of the Proprietaries their right of jurisdiction, leaving them in possession of the lands and other property belonging to them in the province. The affair was discussed from time to time; but the increasing disorders in the colonies, and

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